The International Conference “Virtual Balkans. Virtual Collaborative Learning in Higher Education” took place on November 30, 2022, at EPOKA University, Tirana, Albania in the context of VALEU-X project. It gathered 70+ participants among researchers with their original research contributions, representatives of the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), academic staff, students, trainees, and international relations offices in Albania and the EU countries to discuss about,

–          Innovative virtual teaching and learning settings for academic staff at Albanian HEIs;

–          ICT-based internalisation at home, virtual exchange/mobility;

–          Adaptation and recognising virtual/blended mobility as part of the HEIs` internalisation strategy.

The Plenary Session was opened by the Co-Chair of the Conference, Dr. Esmir Demaj who welcomed participants and gave a short guide about the Conference Programme.

Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Lisen Bashkurti from EPOKA University, Prof. Dr. Suzana Golemi from University of Shkodra, Prof. Dr. Benita Stavre from University of Korca, Dr. Ketrina Cabiri from European University of Tirana greeted and welcomed participants on behalf of the VALEU-X Project consortium partners.

Ms. Lenka Vitkova, Head of Good Governance and Rule of Law Section, from the Delegation of the European Union to Albania, and Ms. Ada Ramaj, the National Coordinator of the Erasmus+ Office in Albania highlighted the importance of the VALEU-X project for the higher education system in Albania.

Prof. Dr. Eric Schoop from Technical University of Dresden, delivered his keynote speech on virtual mobility as an instrument for internationalization at home in Albania, followed by a presentation of the VALEU-X project in a nutshell by Mr. Mattis Altman.

Then, participants moved to the parallel sessions of the conference where 27 research papers were presented in 4 Parallel Thematic Sessions. The conference was organized in 2 Onsite sessions and with both 1 Hybrid and 1 fully Online session, a novelty in terms of conference organizational technicalities and increased capacities stemming from the successful implementation of the project objectives.

A synergy session, where other EU projects that display thematic cross topics with VALEU-X project introduced themselves with the aim to facilitate exchange among projects.

The conference was closed with a summary and wrap-up of conclusions from the conference by the session chairs, followed by commitments to endorse and multiplicate virtual collaborative learning pedagogical approaches.

(Reposted from EPOKA University website)

To know more about the VALEU-X project we invite you to watch our dissemination video bellow: